Virtual Events Shifts to Remote Work Technology Has Accelerated the Growth

Tajammul Pangarkar
Tajammul Pangarkar

Updated · Apr 18, 2024

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According to Virtual Events Statistics, Virtual events are online gatherings that allow people and organizations to interact without physical presence, using digital platforms that support video streaming and interactive tools like chats and polls.

These events range from webinars and virtual conferences to live streams and trade shows. Key benefits include global reach, cost-effectiveness, and detailed participant analytics.

However, challenges such as technology reliability, maintaining engagement, and ensuring security are significant.

The future of virtual events looks towards hybrid formats that blend physical and virtual elements and innovative technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to enhance interactivity and immersion.

This makes virtual events a versatile and increasingly popular option for connecting and learning in a digital-first world.

Editor’s Choice

  • The global virtual events market revenue is projected to reach USD 1066 billion by 2032.
  • North America leads with a substantial 38.4% share, reflecting its robust digital infrastructure and high adoption of virtual technologies.
  • Microsoft Corporation leads with an 18% share, capitalizing on its comprehensive suite of collaboration tools.
  • Regarding the tools employed for virtual events, an overwhelming 99% of polled companies acknowledged webinars as a crucial aspect of their marketing strategy.
  • According to a survey of B2B marketers worldwide, as of May 2020, the largest share, 49%, reported hosting between 20 to 30 virtual events annually, indicating this as the most common frequency for engaging audiences.
  • Live video streaming is increasingly being adopted across various industries, with broadcasters, operators, and media leading the charge, accounting for 30% of the usage.
  • One-third find virtual events engaging, while only 23% perceive virtual conferences as truly distinctive.
Virtual Event Market

Virtual Event Market Overview

Global Virtual Event Market Size

  • The global virtual events market has demonstrated substantial growth in revenue from 2022 to 2032 at a CAGR of 18.8%.
  • Starting at USD 199 billion in 2022, the market has projected increases each year, reaching USD 236 billion in 2023 and continuing its upward trajectory to USD 275 billion in 2024.
  • The momentum continues as the market is anticipated to surge to USD 879 billion in 2031 and finally achieve a remarkable USD 1066 billion by 2032.
Virtual Events

Global Virtual Event Market Share – By Region

  • North America leads with a substantial 38.4% share, reflecting its robust digital infrastructure and high adoption of virtual technologies.
  • Following is the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, holding a significant 26.8% of the market, driven by rapid technological advancements and increasing digitalization.
  • Europe contributes 18.6% to the market share, supported by widespread technology use across both corporate and public sectors.
  • The Middle East and Africa (MEA) and Latin America are smaller contributors, with 9.3% and 6.9% of the market, respectively, indicating growing opportunities and expanding digital adoption in these regions.
Virtual Events

Competitive Landscape of the Global Virtual Event Market

  • Microsoft Corporation leads with an 18% share, capitalizing on its comprehensive suite of collaboration tools.
  • Zoom follows with 14%, and it is known for its user-friendly video conferencing solutions.
  • Both 6Connex and vFairs claim a 12% share each, reflecting their specialized offerings in virtual event platforms.
  • Cisco Systems, Inc. holds an 11% stake, leveraging its strong presence in network technology.
  • Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise and Cvent Holding Corp. contribute 9% and 8% to the market, respectively, showcasing their niche in providing robust event management and networking solutions.
  • On24, Inc. accounts for 7%, focusing on webinar and virtual event services.
  • Additionally, 9% of the market is held by other key players, indicating a diverse and dynamic competitive environment within the virtual events industry.

Tools Utilized to Carry Out Virtual Events

  • Regarding the tools employed for virtual events, approximately half of the global event attendees favored webinars.
  • This preference was corroborated by a survey in June 2021, where an overwhelming 99% of polled companies acknowledged webinars as a crucial aspect of their marketing strategy.
  • Live meetings software was preferred by 43% of respondents, while over a third expressed a preference for a fully immersive event experience.
  • Livestream video emerged as a popular digital engagement tactic, utilized by nearly three-quarters of global marketers as of June 2021, with an additional 20% planning to incorporate it.
  • Zoom emerged as the clear leader, being utilized by over half of the surveyed companies for teleconferences, while just over 10% opted for Microsoft Teams.

Annual Frequency of Virtual Events Hosted by B2B Marketers

  • According to a survey of B2B marketers worldwide as of May 2020, the number of virtual events hosted per year varies significantly among respondents.
  • The largest share, 49%, reported hosting between 20 and 30 virtual events annually, indicating this as the most common frequency for engaging audiences.
  • Eighteen percent of marketers are slightly less active, hosting between 15 to 20 events per year.
  • Those hosting more than 30 events per year represent 21% of the respondents, reflecting a segment of highly active marketers.
  • Meanwhile, a smaller group, 12% of respondents, reported hosting fewer than 15 events annually, suggesting a more selective approach to virtual event engagement.

Top Industries That Are Utilizing Live Video Streaming 

  • Live video streaming is increasingly being adopted across various industries, with broadcasters, operators, and media leading the charge, accounting for 30% of the usage.
  • The Banking, Finance, Security, and Insurance (BFSI) sector follows closely, utilizing live video streaming for 25% of their digital interactions.
  • The education sector also significantly incorporates this technology, representing 20% of the usage, reflecting its growing importance for remote learning and online courses.
  • Additionally, the remaining 25% is distributed among all other industries, indicating a broad and versatile application of live video streaming across diverse fields.
Virtual Events

Preferred Formats for Hosting Business Events

  • A poll on preferred formats for hosting business events in 2024 reveals a diverse landscape of choices among organizers.
  • In-person events lead slightly, with 35% of respondents favoring this traditional format.
  • Hybrid events, which combine in-person and virtual elements, are a close second, preferred by 34% of respondents.
  • Virtual events are also popular, chosen by 29% of participants, highlighting the enduring impact of remote interaction technologies.
  • Other, less conventional formats make up a small fraction, accounting for just 2% of preferences.

Key Reasons for Considering Virtual Events in Business Planning

  • A survey highlighting the reasons businesses consider hosting virtual events shows a clear preference for certain advantages.
  • A significant 77.2% of respondents cite the ease of attendance as a primary factor, demonstrating the value of convenience in increasing participation.
  • Global reach is another major benefit, with 64.9% acknowledging the ability of virtual events to connect people across different geographical locations.
  • Cost-effectiveness also plays a critical role, with 47.4% of those surveyed pointing to the low cost of virtual events as a deciding factor.
  • Additionally, 14% of respondents recognize sponsorships as a main attraction, indicating that virtual events can also offer substantial opportunities for brand partnerships and exposure.

Cost of Virtual Events

  • The average cost per attendee for virtual events varies significantly, as indicated by survey data.
  • A notable proportion, 18%, falls within the range of $200 to $500, reflecting relatively budget-friendly options.
  • However, a substantial 34% of virtual events have a cost per attendee ranging from $500 to $1000, indicating a higher level of investment in these experiences.
  • Similarly, 31% of events are priced between $1000 to $1500 per attendee, suggesting a considerable expenditure for participation.
  • For a smaller segment, representing 17% of virtual events, the cost per attendee exceeds $1500, signaling premium offerings or specialized experiences that command a higher price point.
Virtual Events

Duration of Virtual Events

  • The duration of virtual events varies widely, as evidenced by survey findings.
  • A majority, comprising 57%, are single-day events, suggesting a preference for concise and focused gatherings among organizers and attendees alike.
  • Meanwhile, two-day events account for 14% of the total, offering a slightly extended timeframe for more comprehensive programming and engagement opportunities.
  • Three-day events constitute 9% of virtual gatherings, providing further flexibility for content delivery and participant interaction.
  • A smaller percentage, 3%, extends to four-day events, catering to specialized topics or extensive agendas.
  • Events spanning 5 to 9 days capture 6% of the market, accommodating in-depth exploration of complex subjects or multi-faceted agendas.
  • Notably, 11% of virtual events are ten days or longer, indicating a commitment to extensive content delivery or immersive experiences over an extended period.
Virtual Events

Popular Virtual Event Platforms Among B2B Marketers

  • Among B2B marketers, several virtual event platforms stand out as particularly popular choices.
  • Intrado leads the pack with a significant market share of 31.60%, indicating its widespread adoption and trusted reputation among businesses.
  • ON24 follows closely behind, capturing 20.10% of the market, showcasing its robust features and capabilities for hosting engaging virtual events.
  • Bizzabo and Intellum both hold notable shares, with 14.80% and 14.40%, respectively, highlighting their appeal to organizations seeking versatile and customizable event solutions.
  • Kaltura, with a 10.10% share, and Hopin, with 9%, round out the list, offering competitive platforms with unique features tailored to the needs of B2B marketers.

Most Popular Virtual Event Types

  • On Bizzabo, a leading virtual event platform, various event types are prominently featured, catering to diverse organizational needs and objectives.
  • The most popular event type is conferences and conventions, constituting a substantial 43% of virtual events hosted on the platform.
  • Following closely behind are meetings and networking events, accounting for 23% of Bizzabo’s virtual gatherings, highlighting the platform’s efficacy in facilitating professional connections and interactions.
  • Internal events, such as team meetings and company-wide gatherings, comprise 13% of the total, reflecting Bizzabo’s versatility in supporting internal organizational functions.
  • Additionally, classes and workshops, trade shows and expos, social gatherings, and launch events each contribute smaller percentages, ranging from 7% to 2%, showcasing the platform’s ability to accommodate various event formats and purposes.

Most Common Ways to Engage Audience in Virtual Events

  • In virtual events, engaging the audience is essential for ensuring active participation and a memorable experience.
  • Polling emerges as the most common method utilized by 71% of organizers to solicit feedback, gather opinions, and encourage interactivity among attendees.
  • Videos are also highly effective, with 61% of organizers incorporating them to convey information, tell stories, and captivate the audience visually.
  • Short presentations are another popular tactic adopted by 56% of organizers to deliver focused content and maintain audience attention.
  • Multiple speakers contribute to diversity and depth in discussions, with 45% of organizers leveraging them to provide varied perspectives and expertise.
  • Furthermore, gamification strategies, such as quizzes and challenges, are employed by 30% of organizers to add an element of fun and competition, fostering engagement and participation.
Virtual Events

Impact of COVID-19 on Virtual Events

  • In March 2021, a survey revealed varying preferences for attending events post-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic across different countries.
  • In the United Kingdom, a majority of 56% preferred exclusively in-person meetings, with 39% opting for a hybrid of in-person and virtual means and a minimal 5% choosing only video conferencing.
  • Similarly, Germany showed a strong preference for in-person engagements at 55%, with 43% favoring both formats and a mere 2% exclusively using video conferencing.
  • Australia and France also demonstrated a greater inclination towards in-person meetings at 52% and 51%, respectively, with both countries showing a significant 43% support for hybrid meetings.
  • Conversely, in the United States, only 42% preferred in-person meetings, while a majority of 52% were amenable to using both in-person and virtual methods, and 6% adhered strictly to video conferencing.
  • Brazil and Singapore recorded the lowest percentages for in-person-only meetings at 38% but showed a higher acceptance of hybrid meeting formats at 59% and 55%, respectively.
Virtual Events

Main Advantages of Shifting from Physical to Virtual Events

  • Shifting from physical to virtual events offers several significant advantages for organizers and participants alike.
  • Foremost among these is the potential for increased attendance and reach, as noted by 49.30% of respondents. Virtual events eliminate geographical barriers, allowing individuals from diverse locations to participate, thus expanding the event’s audience and impact.
  • Additionally, the transition to virtual platforms often results in significantly lower overhead costs, a benefit acknowledged by 14.90% of respondents. This reduction in expenses can encompass venue rental fees, travel and accommodation costs, and logistical expenses, leading to overall cost savings for event organizers.
  • Furthermore, 11.10% of respondents highlight the discovery of new viable revenue sources as a key advantage. Virtual events open up opportunities for monetization through sponsorship, ticket sales, and digital content offerings.
  • Long-term community engagement is also cited as a benefit by 8.50% of respondents, as virtual events provide ongoing opportunities for interaction and connection beyond the confines of a physical gathering.

Top Virtual Event Hosting Challenges

  • Networking emerges as the most prominent challenge, cited by 68.80% of respondents, indicating the difficulty in facilitating meaningful connections and interactions in a virtual environment.
  • Engagement closely follows, with 67.70% of organizers expressing concerns about maintaining audience interest and participation throughout the event.
  • Differentiation poses another significant hurdle, with 52.90% of respondents grappling with the task of making their virtual event stand out amidst a crowded landscape of online offerings.
  • Logistics, including technical setup and event execution, are also cited as a challenge by 52.50% of organizers, highlighting the complexity of coordinating virtual experiences.
  • Additionally, securing sponsors proves to be a concern for 36.90% of respondents, as virtual events may offer fewer opportunities for sponsor visibility and engagement compared to traditional in-person events.
  • Lastly, maintaining the impact and effectiveness of the event is a challenge for 35.70% of organizers, underscoring the importance of carefully planning and executing virtual events to achieve desired outcomes and objectives.
Tajammul Pangarkar

Tajammul Pangarkar

Tajammul Pangarkar is a CMO at Prudour Pvt Ltd. Tajammul longstanding experience in the fields of mobile technology and industry research is often reflected in his insightful body of work. His interest lies in understanding tech trends, dissecting mobile applications, and raising general awareness of technical know-how. He frequently contributes to numerous industry-specific magazines and forums. When he’s not ruminating about various happenings in the tech world, he can usually be found indulging in his next favorite interest - table tennis.